Sunday, October 12, 2014

DIY NFL Clear Tote Bag


I am excited to participate in the 2014 Crafty Football Blog Hop!  I am the first stop on the hop, so be sure to check back for all kinds of football fun!

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Last month, I was attending a college football game so I checked out their bag policy online. It wasn't as restrictive as the NFL Stadium Bag Policy, but it got me thinking that there are a lot of ladies who attend NFL games and may need a clear bag. My niece loves the Cleveland Browns and she says that if ladies bring purses, they are turned away. Nearby, there are lockers for $10 that they can use.

The NFL guidelines state that the bag can be no larger than 12" x 6" x 12". They don't specify much beyond that, but the diagrams show a logo on the center of the bag and fabric along the top edge. You could also use a large ziploc bag (cute!). Or, you can buy one of their bags.

I've got a simple tutorial to help you make your own! I even have an easy-peasy (Beverly Hillbilly) version, too! If you've never worked with vinyl, I have a few tips and tricks for you.


Supplies:
  • Vinyl: You can use any vinyl you have on hand. Look in your closet for an old comforter bag or an old sheet bag! You can also buy it at Joanns. I had 20 Gauge on hand, but you do not have to use that thickness.
  • Fabric: There is a lot of NFL available from various online shops and at Joanns. To make a two-handled tote, you need 1/2 yard. To make my easy-peasy version shown later, you only need 1/8 yard. I bought a yard. You can always use the extra to make a small, zippered bag.
  • Interfacing: Use any interfacing you have on hand. I like to add interfacing to my handles for extra strength and body, but you can skip this step.

1. Cut vinyl.  If you are going to use an old comforter bag, start by cutting off the side seams to get a large, rectangular piece.



(From this point I will be showing construction with the 20 Gauge vinyl).  Cut a piece of vinyl that is 17" wide by 29" long.



2. Fold vinyl in half.


3. Cut a 2.5" square out of each lower corner on the fold.


(Hint: Use the first square that you cut out as a pattern to cut out the other side.) 


4. Stitch sides of bag. I use a walking foot, reduced pressure and a long stitch to sew vinyl. I gently pull and push the fabric as I sew. Another option is to use tissue paper on top and/or on the bottom of the vinyl. Simply tear it away after stitching.  Don't fret if you edges don't line up perfectly. You can trim them.


5. Sew boxed bottom. It can be challenging to describe how to make a boxed bottom. It is even harder to show with vinyl! The square you cut out is now going to be sewn shut to create a boxed bottom to the bag.  You pinch the bottom of the fold and bring it up to meet the side seam.


Clip in place.  Do you have these Wonder Clips?  I love them!



Stitch and repeat for the other side.



6. Turn inside out. I wasn't sure how if I wanted to turn the bag inside out. I think it would be fine to keep the seams on the outside. You could probably also use seam binding to cover the seams. But I took the plunge and it took some strength to turn the 20 Gauge vinyl inside out.


I was surprised how nice the vinyl remained after turning!



7. Make Straps. Construct three straps. One strap is a band that will go around the top of the bag and that is cut to 4" x 38". Cut two strips 4" x 28" for the handles.


Cut 4" wide strips.



Interface the strips used for handles.


Press strip in half.


For the bag band that goes around the top, open out one end of the strip and press under the raw edge.


Fold each side into the center and press.




Fold in half and stitch. (Recap: 4"wide strip, press in half. Press raw edges to center and fold in again. Strap should be 1" in width.)



8. Sew band to top. Clip the band onto the top of the bag.


Work your way around the top of the bag, ending with the pressed-under edge.


Sew around the lower edge of the band, securing it to the bag.



9. Sew Straps Onto Bag:  Clip the straps about 3" from the side edge of the bag. Fold under the raw edge so that it will be captured within your stitching. I chose to sew mine to the inside of the band, but you can sew it on the outside.





I simply stitched the strap by sewing a square. It takes a little bit of maneuvering.


That's it! You have a cute, and functional NFL bag!


It's challenging to photograph a clear bag!


I have only attended one Cleveland Browns game in my life and it was a long time ago. I think if I were to attend one now, you might find this in my bag:



What would be in your bag?







Are you ready for the Easy Peasy Beverly Hillbilly Version?

1. Grab a sheet bag. I have these bags in my closet and in my attic. I save them thinking I'm going to use them again and rarely do. Sometimes I'll store extra towels or blankets in the large ones. But when I found a sheet bag laying around, I thought it would be perfect for an NFL bag. And it has a zipper! Mine is about 12" wide by about 10" high and 2" deep.


2. Make a strap as demonstrated above. Cut a piece of fabric 4" x 57". The NFL fabric from Joanns is 58" wide. I cut a 4" wide strip and cut off the selvages.This made a good length for a cross-body strap. Feel free to adjust the length as you prefer. Before top-stitching the strap, be sure that all the raw ends are encased. 

3. Pin and Sew Strap to Bag:  Pin one end of the strap to the side of the bag. Stitch in a rectangular shape, working below the zipper band.



Repeat for the other side. Enjoy!






The NFL permits small, zippered pouches. Use your extra fabric to make one and insert it into the bag. Add a pocket! Simply cut out a rectangle and stitch it on the vinyl before you start making the bag.

See all of my tutorials here.

Check out all of the 2014 Crafty Football Blog Hop tutorials in the links below!


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